The undoubted highlight of Buxton's second pre-season fixture was a superb first-half hat-trick by bang-in-form striker, Diego De Girolamo, who 3 times in 10 minutes found ways of piercing a resilient visiting rearguard. After a Covid issue forced scheduled visitors Barnsley to withdraw on Monday. New Mills deserve great credit for initially filling the gap and then for a determined performance which kept 'the Bucks' goal-less for the last hour of a useful, competitive run-out.
As on Saturday Buxton pieced together several early penetrative passing moves, one of which forced a 19th-minute corner and from James Hurst's short kick, Tommy Elliott moved the ball onto Diego, who netted with a delightful,16-yard,curling shot under the far angle. Then, only 2 minutes further on, the striker, beating defenders as he advanced from the right flank, fired home convincingly into the far corner of the Ashwood End net. His hat-trick was completed just short of the half-hour with arguably the best goal of the 3. With the 'keeper off his line and from nearly 30 yards out, Diego netted high into the net.
The second half brought a succession of changes and the introduction of recently-signed midfielder, Ben Milnes, contributed significantly to the entertainment. He slammed a 25-yard free-kick against the bottom of a post, found Chris Dawson with a through ball that his fellow substitute couldn't convert and then produced another dangerous free-kick.
In the last quarter of the game, manager Gary Hayward gave outings to young players Jack Dillingham and James Oliver but Saturday's trialists, Joe Cummings and Akeem Hinds, were not on view. New Mills persevered to the end and late on got the goal their application deserved, having hit the bar in the second minute.
An interested spectator was 1960's midfielder, Don Cooke, whose grandson was playing for New Mills. On Saturday, Buxton entertain Barwell at 3 p.m., while next Tuesday the re-formed Macclesfield FC are the visitors for a 7-45 p.m. kick-off.